Monday, August 19, 2013

Congenital Heart Defect Radio Show

Are you ready for some exciting news? Last week I (Anna Jaworski) received a phone call from an executive producer of a radio show asking me if I would like to have my own radio talk show! He had found my website and saw that I was passionate about congenital heart defects and he felt this was a topic that deserved its own, regular radio show!

Within two days I had put together a proposal for a radio show that would feature segments of interest to the Congenital Heart Defect Community (CHD community). I am thankful that I have so many Facebook friends who are members of the heart world. So many wonderful people stepped up and suggested topics that interested them. I was thrilled to see that all of the suggested topics fit into one (or more) of the segments I proposed for the radio show. I felt I had a lot of support from the CHD community when the executive producer called me back to say that the network approved the proposal!

I requested references so I could speak to other radio hosts. I'm hopeful they will share some information with me and help me to start this show off on the right foot. This is such an important topic to have on the radio. We have so many issues that need to be addressed globally. Our audience needs to feel united. I'm afraid that we have been fragmented for far too long.

Now we go into the preproduction phase of the radio show. I have a lot to learn but this radio network, VoiceAmerica, believes in us. This isn't my radio show -- it's our radio show! The executive producer even told me that he believed that finding out about the CHD world and then offering us a chance to share information globally was a mitzvah - a good deed. The network feels good about having an opportunity to give something as vital as communication to a world that so desperately needs communication, love and support. While talking to Josh Bernstein and Brandy Jackson (the executive producer and general manager, respectively), I felt a flood of compassion and enthusiasm for our project that gave me the confidence to take on this challenge. I've been on radio shows and even a couple of television shows for small segments but I've never hosted a regular talk show before. I'm extremely excited and humbled by this opportunity to help bring awareness and advocacy to our very important cause.

How can we spread awareness of congenital heart defects -- the number one birth defect? We can spread awareness in so many ways -- blogging, setting up Facebook pages, websites and using other social media to let people see us, hear us and associate a face, a person, a story to the cause. We need to talk about the radio show, generate excitement and show support for one another.

For too many years we've felt alone as we've dealt with surgeries and uncertain futures. For too many years many of us wondered if anyone cared. I distinctly remember being in the hospital with Alex as he was recovering from his first open-heart surgery. I looked out his hospital room window on a busy hospital parking lot and watched people coming and going. Everyone seemed in such a hurry as they scurried about. I meanwhile stroked my son's head and kissed him knowing all the while that nobody seemed to care that there was a boy in that building fighting for his life. It was an extremely lonely feeling. I wondered how people could just go about their daily lives unaware of the drama unfolding in rooms around me. Babies were being given a chance for life. Some of them made it; others didn't. It was a heartbreaking environment and I felt like I was fighting the world alone just for another breath, a smile and the whisper of hope for a future for my son.

This radio show gives us all a chance to reach out to one another. We can share our stories, we can educate each other about topics of importance in the congenital heart defect world. We can let other people who don't even realize they've been touched by CHDs know we're out here! We can provide hope, encouragement and support to people all over the world.

Thank you, VoiceAmerica! You have indeed done a mitzvah and I, for one, feel blessed by this opportunity. Let us hope that this is just the beginning of something special for us all.

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